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Experiences of Education Professionals Supporting Learners with Additional Needs in European Union Partner Countries

Hewston, Ruth and Smith, Sharon and Woolley, Richard (2015) Experiences of Education Professionals Supporting Learners with Additional Needs in European Union Partner Countries. In: The 6th Teacher Education Advancement Network Conference: Knowing About Teaching, 14th May 2015, Aston University.

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Abstract

Research suggests that EU countries have different approaches to supporting learning for those within additional needs in the mainstream setting. Furthermore, across the European Union, training approaches and professional development in areas of SEN vary greatly. This paper presents the findings of a needs analysis undertaken in the UK, Italy, Spain, Poland and Romania, into teacher’s knowledge and practice of supporting learners with additional needs in mainstream secondary settings. The research used a mixed methods approach to collect survey data from educational professionals working in mainstream secondary settings (N = 186). The study also conducted semi-structured (N = 47) and focus group interviews (N = 5) with practitioners. Findings identified themes around the importance of support to enable learners to live and learn independence, build self-esteem and self-advocacy and the value of education professionals working in partnership together. It also identified that the use of paraprofessionals in education may differ in the context of the education system; however, they play an important role in the education of learners with additional needs. The importance of partnership working also highlighted the need to consider the role of parents in the learner’s educational journey. A final theme identified the need for professional’s to have flexibility in their approach to learning, particularly in relation to teaching strategies, policy and funding. This project has enabled the development of a training package for those supporting learners with additional needs in mainstream secondary settings promoting an inclusive approach. This research and training is having a long-term impact on professional practice and is enabling professionals across the partner countries to share best practice and high quality success stories of innovative and effective practice in supporting learners with additional needs.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Keywords: learning support, additional needs, SEN, teacher education, partnership working, European Union
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
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Depositing User: Ruth Hewston
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2015 11:08
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2015 11:08
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3784

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